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CAMEL

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Camel biography
The roots of CAMEL go as far as 1964, when the Latimer brothers Andrew and Bryan form part of a band called THE PHANTOM FOUR, after gaining some fame, the band changes their name to STRANGE BREW, a when the bass player Graham Cooper reaches the band. But things were about to change, Ian Latimer and Cooper leave the band and Doug Ferguson joins.

At this point drummer Andrew Ward joins the crew and the seeds were growing in this new Blues oriented band called simply THE BREW, and at last in 1971 with the arrival of keyboardist Peter Bardens CAMEL is officially born.

In their first period CAMEL releases four albums, the self titled debut, which was received with limited enthusiasm by the public, which lead to the change of label from MCA (Who didn't wanted to take risks) to Decca, with whom they stayed for 10 years.

Followed by "Mirage", Snow Goose" and "Moonmadness" (for many their essential trilogy), during the latest album tour, the saxophonist and flute player Mel Collins joins and leads CAMEL to a first radical change in the sound, as well as in the formation because Doug Ferguson is replaced by the Ex CARAVAN bass player Richard Sinclair.

With this formation CAMEL releases two albums, "Rain Dances and "Breathless", which marks for many the end of CAMEL'S golden era mainly because Pete Bardens leaves the band and the next release "I Can See Your House From Here" is considered inferior to the previous releases by the critic.

From this point the lineups constantly changes but the band still releases seven more albums received with different degrees of acceptance, until the last studio album "A Nod And a Wink" sees the light in 2002 (the same year Pete Bardens passes away) completing a large discography of 14 studio releases, 9 live albums, 7 DVD's and several box sets .

Maybe because their style is softer than most of the pioneer bands with atmospheric and light Space Rock overtones their fanbase is not as huge as the ones of the coetaneous and more aggressive bands such as GENESIS (Who in my opinion influenced CAMEL), YES or KING CRIMSON, but CAMEL is without doubt among the most respected groups, and the Latimer - Bardens duo is considered one of the most creative compositional teams.

If I had to choose one album from their prolific discography, my choice would be "Moonmadness" but others such as "Snow Goose" or "Mirage" are beloved by those who love good music.

An excellent band for people who l...
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MoonmadnessMoonmadness
Import · Remastered
Polygram UK 2002
Audio CD$3.49
$4.57 (used)
Camel- MirageCamel- Mirage
Import · Remastered
Universal I.S. 2002
Audio CD$5.45
$3.98 (used)
BreathlessBreathless
Import
Polygram UK 1992
Audio CD$3.12
$2.04 (used)
The Snow GooseThe Snow Goose
Import · Remastered
Polygram UK 2002
Audio CD$5.19
$8.19 (used)
Harbour of TearsHarbour of Tears
Import
Camel Productions 2006
Audio CD$9.14
$8.39 (used)
The Snow GooseThe Snow Goose
Import
Camel Productions 2013
Audio CD$10.10
$10.09 (used)
I Can See Your House From HereI Can See Your House From Here
Import
Universal I.S. 1990
Audio CD$3.17
$3.51 (used)
CamelCamel
Import · Remastered
MSI:UNIVERSAL/UM3 2002
Audio CD$4.97
$6.47 (used)
Rain DancesRain Dances
Remastered · Extra tracks
Decca 2009
Audio CD$4.99
$8.42 (used)
A Live RecordA Live Record
Import · Remastered
Universal 2002
Audio CD$10.15
$12.00 (used)
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CAMEL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

CAMEL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 991 ratings
Camel
1973
4.38 | 2011 ratings
Mirage
1974
4.28 | 1755 ratings
The Snow Goose
1975
4.38 | 1729 ratings
Moonmadness
1976
3.57 | 719 ratings
Rain Dances
1977
3.13 | 599 ratings
Breathless
1978
2.83 | 525 ratings
I Can See Your House From Here
1979
3.59 | 577 ratings
Nude
1981
2.56 | 370 ratings
The Single Factor
1982
3.37 | 535 ratings
Stationary Traveller
1984
3.66 | 394 ratings
Dust And Dreams
1991
3.73 | 470 ratings
Harbour Of Tears
1996
4.03 | 667 ratings
Rajaz
1999
3.94 | 548 ratings
A Nod And A Wink
2002
4.22 | 400 ratings
The Snow Goose (Re-recording)
2013

CAMEL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.28 | 322 ratings
A Live Record
1978
3.28 | 130 ratings
Pressure Points
1984
3.62 | 93 ratings
Camel On The Road 1972
1992
4.44 | 133 ratings
Never Let Go
1993
2.34 | 54 ratings
Camel On The Road 1982
1994
3.29 | 50 ratings
Camel On The Road 1981
1997
4.31 | 111 ratings
Coming Of Age
1998
3.83 | 55 ratings
Camel 73 - 75 Gods of Light
2000
3.57 | 62 ratings
The Paris Collection
2001

CAMEL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.58 | 34 ratings
Pressure Points - Live in Concert
1984
4.52 | 96 ratings
Coming Of Age (DVD)
1998
2.91 | 22 ratings
Curriculum Vitae
2003
3.88 | 34 ratings
Footage
2004
3.78 | 26 ratings
Footage II
2005
4.00 | 31 ratings
Total Pressure (DVD)
2007
3.99 | 46 ratings
Moondances
2007
4.34 | 66 ratings
The Opening Farewell - Live At The Catalyst (DVD)
2010
4.05 | 23 ratings
In From The Cold
2014

CAMEL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.47 | 8 ratings
Chameleon (Best Of Camel)
1981
3.29 | 14 ratings
The Collection
1985
3.73 | 25 ratings
A Compact Compilation
1985
2.40 | 7 ratings
Landscapes
1991
3.46 | 44 ratings
Echoes
1993
2.09 | 8 ratings
Camel (25th Anniversary Compilation)
1997
4.09 | 31 ratings
Lunar Sea - An Anthology 1973-1985
2001
4.01 | 30 ratings
Rainbow's End - A Camel Anthology 1973 - 1985
2010

CAMEL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.61 | 23 ratings
Never Let Go
1973
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Snow Goose
1975
5.00 | 1 ratings
Flight Of The Snow Goose
1975
4.57 | 21 ratings
Another Night
1976
3.45 | 12 ratings
Highways of the Sun
1977
4.00 | 1 ratings
Breathless
1978
4.00 | 1 ratings
Your Love Is Stranger Than Mine
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Some Exerpts From The New Camel Album
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Remote Romance
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Remote Romance (German Version)
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Camel In Concert No.250
1981
5.00 | 1 ratings
Lies
1981
4.00 | 1 ratings
No Easy Answer
1982
4.00 | 1 ratings
Selva
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cloak And Dagger Man
1984
3.00 | 2 ratings
Long Goodbyes
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
Berlin Occidental (West Berlin)
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
Lies (Promo Single)
1984
5.00 | 2 ratings
Captured
1986
4.86 | 18 ratings
Never Let Go
2002

CAMEL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mirage by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.38 | 2011 ratings

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Mirage
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

5 stars To describe Camel's sound is difficult to do as their sound is quite unique and one that other less prominent bands tend to be compared to. However, I'll give it a shot. Imagine a symphonic group with a stellar keyboardist, a rock- solid rhythm section and a profoundly soulful guitarist in the ranks of Steve Hackett or David Gilmour who doubles as a virtuoso flautist. Now imagine that these four are masters of not only creating vivid, mellow instrumental sonic palettes but can also write fantasy poetry comparable to that of David Byron. And on top of that, they can even turn on a dime and rock out like Mark II Deep Purple or Uriah Heep if they feel the need. Sound too good to be true? Then take their second album, "Mirage", for example.

"Freefall" opens the album with a rocker that shows off guitarist Andrew Latimer's rock skills while still retaining a complex, symphonic power and bassist Doug Ferguson and drummer Andy Ward show their competency through frequent time changes. 5 star track. "Supertwister" shows off Latimer's heavenly flute abilities with brevity; clocking in at just over 3 minutes, this instrumental is pure listening bliss and creates mellow, emotional musical landscapes that you wish would stretch on for even longer. 5 star track. The first of the album's two epics, "Nimrodel", shows off the group's finest ballad writing form with more passionate instrumental passages, beautiful woodwind arrangements and breathtaking imagery. 5 star track. "Earthrise" continues the band's instrumental capabilities with a mix of brutal, unrelenting uptempo rock guitar and spacey keyboard atmospheres. 5 star track. And the best is saved for last; "Lady Fantasy" finishes the album with even more of everything you've just heard but delivered in a fresh, creative way. The band's rock prowess counteracts mellow, lyrical instrumental passages abruptly yet naturally and Andrew Latimer once again steals the show while not leaving the rest of the band in his wake. 5 star track.

In short, this is an album that has justly found its way into the PA top 20 and is very deserving of its spot there. If you enjoy any of the qualities I've just described, give it a listen; you'll fall in love right away.

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 The Snow Goose by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.28 | 1755 ratings

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The Snow Goose
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

5 stars Review Nº 8

Camel was my second love after Genesis. In 1975 I bought "The Snow Goose", my second vinyl record, soon after I've purchased my first, "Selling England By The Pound" of Genesis. As I've offered my vinyl copy of "Selling England By The Pound" to my then girlfriend and today I still have my vinyl copy of "The Snow Goose", it became my oldest album in my modest musical collection.

Curiously, "The Snow Goose" is my second review from the band, is my second album in my vinyl collection and is my second favourite studio work from the group. But this is only a mere coincidence.

Camel is one of the most respected groups in the universe of progressive music. In my opinion, "The Snow Goose" makes part of an essential trilogy of Camel, complemented by their second studio album "Mirage", released in 1974 and by their fourth studio album "Moonmadness", released in 1976. Of course we can't forget their great eponymous debut studio album "Camel", released in 1973. These four studio albums correspond indeed of what we can call today as their golden musical era. The biggest responsible for that, was undoubtedly the pair of the main composers of the band formed by Andrew Latimer and Peter Bardens, who are usually considered some of the best and most creative of all time. And they deservedly belong to one of the best duos of composers of the progressive rock music.

"The Snow Goose" remains as one of my favourite albums and it's also one of the albums of the 70's that actually I listen more, especially when I need to listen some quiet music in some relaxing moments. For me, it has the real nostalgic effect of relaxing and let me feel perfectly well. It reminds me the past of my youth, something pleasant but far away from me now. Camel remains as the band from the 70's I listen more, with Genesis, in nowadays.

The line up on "The Snow Goose" is Andrew Latimer (vocals, flute, electric, acoustic and slide guitars), Peter Bardens (organ, mini moog, pipe organ, electric and acoustic piano), Doug Ferguson (bass) and Andy Ward (vibes, drums and percussion).

"The Snow Goose" or "Music Inspired By The Snow Goose", as you wish, is the third studio album by Camel and was released in 1975. It's a concept album divided into sixteen parts and where all the songs were written by both main composers, Latimer and Bardens. The album reached silver status in 1981, and is considered by many, critics and fans, their most accessible musical work. This is a very different album, compared with the majority of progressive studio albums, because is an instrumental work, with no lyrics and with an orchestral instrumentation. This is very unusual, but I don't think that it's properly a bad thing. On the contrary, I like very much of instrumental works. This is a very atmospheric album, very accessible, and is characterized by short and very melodic songs. Musically, this is a typical symphonic album, with great space keyboards by Bardens, and with splendid guitar solos by Latimer.

"The Snow Goose" is a concept album. Its concept is based on a very short and sentimental novella written by the American author Paul Gallico, originally named "The Snow Goose: A Story of Dunkirk". The tale is about the love of a painter Philip Rhayader, an artist living a solitary life, by a young local girl named Fritha. It still is about the friendship of these two human beings with a snow goose, wounded by a gunshot, a many miles from home, which was found by Fritha and treated by her. The story is set in the World War II, when the British troops retreated from Dunkirk, in the north of France, under fire of the Nazi troops. In short, the story is a very simple and small parable about the regenerative power of the friendship and love in the horror of the war.

Conclusion: In my humble opinion, "The Snow Goose" became to be the Camel's breakthrough album, which finally defined their future style, musically and conceptually. Musically, on their subsequent albums, they wrote shorter songs, in the vein of "The Snow Goose", with a very strong sense of melody and with solos that supported the melody. Conceptually, in the most instrumental concept album format, this concept would be used again, several times in the 80's and 90's, on some of their other studio albums like "Nude", "Dust And Dreams" and "Harbour Of Tears". Definitely, this concept album is a masterpiece of symphonic progressive rock. It's an incredible instrumental piece of music, with good combined work between organ and guitar, performed in various musical styles. It's a beautiful and graceful album, where all the songs are short. It's different from many other studio albums, with no lyrics but with a clear poetic message. It's a very classic musical work. For me, it's the most nostalgic and beautiful piece of music that Camel has ever created. Sincerely, this is one of the best progressive albums ever made.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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 Moonmadness by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.38 | 1729 ratings

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Moonmadness
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

5 stars Review Nº 3

Camel was my second love after Genesis. In 1975, when I was born to the progressive rock music, the first vinyl record purchased by me was "Selling England By The Pound" of Genesis and the second was "The Snow Goose" of Camel. Even today, Camel and Genesis are the two bands from the 70's, which I listen to with more pleasure.

Although I love "Mirage" very much, my favourite studio album of Camel is and always was "Moonmadness" followed by "The Snow Goose". These two albums have the participation of the two best composers of the band, which are Andrew Latimer and Peter Bardens. In my humble opinion, "Moonmadness" is the last great studio album from the band with the participation of Bardens as band member. It belongs and closes what is usually known by their classic line up and their classic era, which is for me, their best.

The line up on the album is Andrew Latimer (lead vocals, flute and guitars), Peter Bardens (vocals and keyboards), Andy Ward (vocals, drums and percussion) and Doug Ferguson (vocals and bass).

"Moonmadness" is their fourth studio album and for many represents the highest point of the musical career of the group. The album was released in 1976 and was also the last album to feature their original line up. Their bassist Ferguson left the group and Richard Sinclair, ex-Caravan, replaced him on their next fifth studio album "Rain Dances", released in 1977. Mel Collins (saxophone and flute), increased the band to five members, for the subsequent tour, beginning an eight years association with the group as a band member or guest.

The concept album "Moonmadness" has seven tracks. The first track "Aristillus" written by Latimer is the smallest track on the album and is an instrumental piece that serves to open the album. It's an atmospheric song, very melodic and is dominated by keyboards. It represents an excellent mood to the rest of the album. The second track "Song Within A Song" written by Latimer and Bardens is a very calm, beautiful, and melancholic song which contrasts with the deepest voice of Ferguson. It's an excellent song with a nice and relaxing guitar and flute works. This is a typical Camel's song. The third track "Chord Change" written by Latimer and Bardens is one of the tracks chosen by the band to define the personality of each member. This is the song about Bardens. It's an instrumental track that explores magnificently the Latimer's guitar fills and Bardens' keyboard work. This is a very well constructed song with some jazzy touch. The fourth track "Spirit Of The Water" written by Bardens is another short track with a very beautiful piano work complemented by a distant vocal singing. It's an atmospheric ballad, very pretty, and built around piano and synthesizer with Bardens' distant voice adding a very special feel to it. The fifth track "Another Night" written by Camel is the song about the personality of Fergusson. In my humble opinion, this is the rockiest song on the album with its great riffs and the strong Latimer's vocal work. This is the most aggressive track on the album, but still it keeps the usual, special and very unique Camel's charm. The sixth track "Air Born" written by Latimer and Bardens represents Andrew's track and is, for me, one of the most memorable songs ever from the band. The track begins with flute and piano, in a classic style, and suddenly explodes with all instruments and the Latimer's voice. Musically, this is an excellent and very well developed song. The seventh track "Lunar Sea" written by Latimer and Bardens is another instrumental track this time about Ward. It's the lengthiest track on the album and represents, in my humble opinion, one of the best tracks on the album. It's a song with great individual and collective musical performances. The melody of the song changes and evolves all over the theme. It reminds me something spatial, as its name suggests.

Conclusion: After their more experimental and audacious work, their previous studio album "The Snow Goose", the music on "Moonmadness" is more akin to the more traditional English progressive rock scene. The music we can found on it is something between space and symphonic rock. It has a very homogeneous musical quality with a dreamy space ambient and a very peaceful musical atmosphere. Sincerely, if you don't know yet this album, you must listen to it. After all these years, it remains an album very fresh, cool and nothing dated. However, with "Moonmadness" the band's English audience declined, but in USA it reached number 118, the highest chart position that the group ever attained in that country. It's a real must have this album. It sounds cool soon of its first listen, but it grows more and more each time you listen to it. So, I recommend it to everyone who likes melodic progressive rock music. It's recommended to symphonic and psychedelic/space rock fans, particularly to Pink Floyd fans, and it's also recommended to Opeth's fans.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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 The Snow Goose by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.28 | 1755 ratings

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The Snow Goose
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by aglasshouse

4 stars Camel's The Snow Goose is undoubtedly much more of an experience than it is an album. You can still of course listen to the separate tracks without encountering much auditory inconsistencies, but much like Pink Floyd's The Wall, you must hear the album in a single go to understand the full meaning of the music. The Snow Goose follows more the mindset of musical poetry, and thus is devoid of any vocalization apart from occasional tidbits. Instead, all thoughts and feelings are conveyed simply by the instrumentation.

According to the back of my vinyl, the story of The Snow Goose tells of a man named Rhayader who lives in a lighthouse in Essex, around the marsh area. Rhayader is treated with indignation by the townsfolk mostly due to his "odd appearance". The other individual whom the story tells of is a woman named Fritha, who finds an injured snow goose that was swept off sea from a storm. She brings the goose to Rhayader in his lighthouse. While the goose is being nursed back to health, the three of them start to grow a bond. However after the goose departs fully healed, Fritha finds no reason to return to the lighthouse and Rhayader is again left alone to the Essex marshes. Much time passes, until one day Rhayader spots the snow goose on the horizons and excitedly sends for Fritha. He starts to send his boat out to find the goose but arrives in the middle of what appears to be a battle at a place called Dunkirk. Desperately Rhayader tries to help injured soldiers by ferrying them back to safety, but his ship is sunken by supposedly cannon fire and he and the wounded soldiers drown in the cold waters of Dunkirk. Fritha, who is still at the lighthouse, somehow realizes that Rhayader will not return. She suddenly spots the snow goose as it seems to be flying back to land. She is filled with bittersweet joy as the goose comes closer as if to land, but instead turns around and flies away never to return.

Musically, The Snow Goose shines remarkably well. Most every bit is polished and flows beautifully, even the one to two minute tracks. Some areas of the album can be slightly boring however and serve only to fill up unnecessary space in the narrative. Many tracks I found enjoying highly, such as the blood pumping battle theme of 'Dunkirk', the sense of adventure from both 'Migration' and 'Flight of the Snow Goose', and even the personal themes from some of the characters. Much ambiance is utilized to great avail, and much of the instrumentation by Camel is very well done and tells their story well. I'd say that this sort of rock-opera type album is quite good, and that if you haven't listened to it I say pick it up. My personal rating would lie around the 4 - 4.5/5 area. Very good.

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 Moonmadness by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.38 | 1729 ratings

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Moonmadness
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by A_Flower

4 stars Moonmadness is the fourth album from Camel. It is a very pleasent album. As for me, I like to put this one on when it's dumping snow outside and I have a good mug of hot chocolate. Moonmadness is not exactly the "really" amazing album (I like Snow Goose better) but it is one for the ages.

The album starts with "Aristillus" A two minute tune that sounds very ELPish with a spin. The beat in the background that continues throughout is good, and my favorite part is the bridge at a little past one minute. This is a great instermental to start a great album.

The next song is a bit longer and has lyrics. "Song within a Song" After the into, it calms down with some beutiful flute and background keyboard. Lyrics soon come in and it changes. One thing that does sort of bother me in this full album is the vocals. The song continues beutifully, but it's around the three minute mark when the riff hits. This is an amazing moment in prog history. After a minute of this, the song picks up speed and takes you away for the last part.

Then we get another instermental track. A song called "Chord Change" However I always felt they should have renamed it because "Chord Change" is sort of a boring name. Anyway, this starts with a fast beat and some scat after a minute. Then it calms down more and we get a gutiar solo. This part always made me thing of The Greatful Dead. At the four minute mark, it changes with a lick and a keyboard solo. My favorite part of the song. It slowly builds you up and reprises the into.

The next song is a ballad. "Spirit of the Water." It uses flute and piano, but if you think that's cool, just wait until the lyrics start. Pete Barden makes his voice sort of echo, it's amazing. It sounds as though it's echoing underwater! The piano and flute is also gorgeous and the lyrics are also amazing.

The second side opens with "Another Night" this sort of fades in a lot like "Flight of the Snowgoose". Then the gutiar kicks in. It's a pretty cool riff. The song slows down for the chorus, and then goes back. The instermental section starts close to three minutes. I have to admit, there's some pretty amazing drumming in here. The instermental ends at around four and a half minutes and then melody begains again, with another instermental section.

The next song, "Air Born", begains with a flute and piano underneath. Then you here a melotron sound and guitar. Accoustic guitar also is in it, I always loved this in the background. It then takes over the song with flute. This is a beutiful section of the song, but this song becomes amazing around two and a half minutes. Here, we have a guitar solo with keyboard in the background. It takes me away every time. The song ends with another melody, which really kicks in.

Finnaly, we have the final track on the album. "Lunar Sea" An instermental. The into makes sure you know this is underwater. Then the guitar comes in. This is a sort of fade in. I always listen to the bass of this. It's really cool. The song changes around two and a half minutes with keyboard taking over as a solo and an even better bass pattern. This is really good and lasts a while, but then a riff comes in and at the five minute mark comes the coolest transition ever. We then have the first bass pattern with keyboard taking a melody and a guitar as a solo. And around seven minutes comes a transition to the best part of the the whole album, the final riff. This tops everything off and we then get an intro reprise and some strange sound effects taking up the last minute.

Well, overall I think this album is amazing, though I am not giving it five stars. For much of it drags on a bit, though Camel can do that a lot. And, like I said before, the best time to listen to this is when it's snowing hard outside and your snuggles in a warm home with a nice mug of hot chocolate.

RANKING OF SONGS

1. Lunar Sea 2. Song Within a Song 3. Air Born 4. Spirit of the Water 5. Another Night 6. Chord Change 7. Aristillus

Favorite quote from the album: "Nothing stops the river as it rolls by." -From "Spirit of the Water"

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 Mirage by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.38 | 2011 ratings

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Mirage
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by poeghost

4 stars Camel's Mirage is an excellent album which I enjoy very much and highly recommend. This classic era prog album would be a good starting point for people just getting into prog.

The instruments used are organ/keyboards, guitar, bass, drums and flute. I like the deep smooth vocals on "The White Rider" and "Lady Fantasy". The varied parts flow well together. Some parts have a relaxed feel. There are fast and heavy parts. In particular "Freefall" is a heavy rock song. "Nimrodel" is dreamy and mysterious. The beginning of "Earthrise" reminds me of a castle with a forest around it. A cool synth bass sound with higher pitched otherworldly echo effects is near the end of "The White Rider". The highlights to me are "Supertwister", "The White Rider" and the "Lady Fantasy" suite.

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 Breathless by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.13 | 599 ratings

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Breathless
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars I have "inherited" this vinyl from my sister, and as my vinyl collection is not so big, I have still listened to this album from time to time, though usually skipping half of it. (And when I tried some oil painting as a teenager, this cover art was the first thing I made a copy of.)

So, this is an album in the CAMEL discography that I feel I should like more than I do. The preceeding Rain Dances, the jazziest Camel album (with the singing bassist Richard Sinclair bringing some Canterbury feel) is among my very favourites, and the 1979 album I Can See Your House From Here - featuring keyboardist Kit Watkins from HAPPY THE MAN - is also enjoyable, despite some throwaway pop songs. Breathless is very light-hearted, airy, jazzy, and most of the time, so goddamn lame.

'Breathless' is a totally toothless, light pop song; sounds pretty but goes absolutely nowhere. I have always liked Richard Sinclair's elegant voice, which is best presented on CARAVAN's In the Land of Grey and Pink (1971), but it's tied here with lousy songwriting. 'Down on the Farm', happy and humorous hommage to coutrylife, gets just boring with the chorus repetition.

Tracks like 'Wing and a Prayer' and 'You Make Me Smile' also remain lazy and half-baked. 'Summer Lightning' even features a cheesy disco feel, but the guitar solo in the end is lovely. The calm closing song 'Rainbow's End' wouldn't be so bad if the thin singing wasn't so terrible.

Two 7-minute tracks are the prog highlights in this pop oriented album: 'Echoes' and 'The Sleeper'. These are good compositions even on the general Camel scale, but there are too many weak tracks to give more than 2½ stars. Rounded up for the happy atmosphere and a nice cover.

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 Camel by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.95 | 991 ratings

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Camel
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by ster

4 stars One heck of a debut.

Camel flies out of the gate as an exciting, mature and rocking prog band. I will admit that it can sound rather derivative, like "Mystic Queen" sounds to me a lot like Pink Floyd at times and King Crimson on others, but I still love it. A great song that flows along and doesn't rush itself. There's also some Santana, Tull, ELP and Yes moments as well on other songs. Almost as if the stew of their influences hasn't fully mixed yet. No lengthy suites here just seven tightly contracted tunes that only exceed 6 minutes on 3 tunes but are packed with detail and strong musicianship. Best of all, these tunes rock, Camel hasn't mellowed yet on this record, That will start on "Mirage".

Highly Recommended, four and a half stars rounded to 4, I won't call it a masterpiece but there isn't a moment I don't like on this album.

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 Nude by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1981
3.59 | 577 ratings

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Nude
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by progadicto

3 stars Between two of the most weak Camel albums at early 80, appears this "Nude" as a light into the night.

Perhaps "I Can See Your House From Here" (1979) and "The Single Factor" (1982) are not bad albums, they're far away from the early 70's Camel's masterpieces and even when "Nude" is not at the top of that list (and not even close to some 90's brilliant releases) still it's a good and enjoyable album.

Based upon the true story of a japanese soldier lost in an abandoned island 29 years after the end of WWII, Andy Latimer and friends built a conceptual album with some delightful highlights plenty of proggy sections and sensitive atmospheres. The album starts with the poppy soft sound of "City Life", the only track that sounds totally out of this conceptual attempt. But then after we face a nice list of tracks closer to neo-prog than the classic symphonic Camel stuff from the 70's, most of them instrumetal.

If I got to pick some highlights I'll choose the soaring "Drafted", which has simple and delicate lyrics and a short but beautiful guitar solo; "Docks" and "Beached" which forms a strong instrumental sonic landscape; the almost tribal sound of "Changing Places"; and the powerful, rhythmical and captivating "Captured".

Not one of the best Camel releases but a nice one to listen and meet Latimer's making some good neo-prog stuff...

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 Rajaz by CAMEL album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.03 | 667 ratings

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Rajaz
Camel Symphonic Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars Camel closed out the 20th century with this very good, and even sometimes great album. At this point the band was, of course, Andy Latimer, with ling time members Ton Scherpenzeel on keyboards and Colin Bass on himself, er... I mean bass, and Dave Stewart (no... not that guy... or that one either) on drums, along with a few extras.

The album starts on a high note. Three Wishes, an instrumental, comes of as a light fusion/symphonic piece, that stands up with some of Camel's best instrumentals. Lost And Found and The Final Encore follow. Both of these are fine symphonic pieces, that only suffer from a little too much borrowing from classic Genesis in instrumental arrangement.

The tone then gets mellower with the fine title piece, but stumbles on the banal Shout. Straight To My Heart is somewhat better, a folky tune with a low groove, similar to what Jethro Tull was doing around that time. Sahara is a gem, starting out like a Jeff Beck ballad, and building into a great showpiece.

Lawrence is a mostly disappointing closing track, but does build nicely by the end.

A solid three star album, but how many bands have produced better albums after over 20 years of recording?

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